After my recent blog about Buck’s passing, I received an email from an old friend, posing a question that had been on her mind:
I find it difficult to understand why God wouldn’t graciously extend his hand to give Buck more years beyond what he had. Tragedy is something that I struggle with much in the faith. So while most would look at the scenario and say that God is good for giving Buck another 15 years of life, I look at it and say why doesn’t the good God give more? I am reading your book HE LOVES ME right now and the illustrations are helping to grow my faith. But, so often, I look at what is tragic in peoples lives, and have difficulty praising in the midst of circumstance. My propensity is to run the other direction when hard times hit and say that its proof that God’s love isn’t real.
My response: I think God may not have given more because he knows the better portion isn’t in this life. It is in the life beyond.
Would you have enjoyed 15 more years as a 15 year old? It would have seemed crazy right? God has prepared us for something so much better than what we know here. We think of a 69 year old dying as tragic, and it is for those of us who miss him, but from God’s side of things I’m sure it doesn’t look tragic at all. He’s finally brought my friend into the life he created him to live in without the distortions of the flesh or the stain of our sin. So from God and my friend’s side of this it is all glorious and our hope is that we will be joining them soon ourselves.
The tragedy is for us here now. And in the midst of that tragedy I don’t think God wants us to praise him for the tragedy, but to learn to lean into him because he’s bigger than any tragedy and can work amazing good even out of a the most horrendous things. His work still goes on. His purpose in our lives is not thwarted by the deaths of others. He still embraces us here as he continues to prepare us for the greater life he has for us all.
Our limited perspective is the problem here. We only see what’s here. Scripture says there is much wisdom in realizing that our time in this age is like the morning dew on the grass. It is brief in the grand scheme of things. It is not the whole thing, only a bit. We don’t have a clue what lies beyond the veil and how much life in this world with flesh, human ambition, limited sight suffocates that which God has really made us to be.
All of his aspirations for us, and all the healthy ones for ourselves, will never be fulfilled in this life.